First of all, I wish to send heartfelt congratulations that you finally acquired the Junkins property. I feel there is a certain justice that the land has come around to be in the possession of family members, and the cemetery can be taken care of properly. I have enclosed a copy of the 1991 survey report. I think you will find it very thin on details on a site by site basis, but these reports often take on this configuration when there are several sites to present. I am glad you are concerned about any future development, because, as the report notes, we found no clear archaeological evidence that the earliest Robert Junkins house stood over the site of the cellarhole. This problem has been encountered at every site I looked at in the village, the site of four homesteads in the 1640s. Archaeologists can explain these results in one of several ways: 1) the original seventeenth-century house was not located at the site of the current structure, or 2) archaeological remains from the seventeenth-century are so sparse that they are easily lost or disturbed in succeeding generations of occupation. I find the latter unsatisfying as an explanation in all cases--that no matter how hard we look, we will never find clear signs of the earliest historically documented settlement. At the moment, I am favoring the first explanation, because we do have evidence of it at the Thomas Moulton site in Cider Hill.
Just down the road from you, along Gowen Lane, we have clear historical, cartographic, and archaeological evidence that family members built new houses in each of three succeeding generations, and each time they moved the house to a different location. I am wondering if the Junkins family did something similar; i.e., if Alexander Junkins built a new cape early in the eighteenth century, some time after the 1692 raid, or after the death of his father in 1699. It is possible that later generations of Junkins built directly from an original--small, earthfast, log--structure, but I do not find it inconceivable that one of the Junkins constructed a brand new building on another set of footings. Documents note that Robert Junkins' original landholding was six acres, and that he rapidly acquired other land in 20-acre increments. This gives us a considerable amount of range of territory to site an original dwelling. Morever, there is one further piece of evidence that came to my attention this summer when I was doing the survey. York has several examples of a 'tall cape' built in the first decade of the eighteenth century. You can find the best preserved example of this style of vernacular architecture at the intersection of Route 91 and Birch Hill Road; the house sits on a tall rise and overlooks a long hayfield. Tad Baker and I compared the architecture of this house that is well-dated by architectural and documentary evidence to photographs of the Junkins Garrison house. We found that the garrison shared many of the characteristics of this early eighteenth-century tall cape. Again, this does not argue against the possibility that the house underwent a great deal of modification and remodeling at this time. I do feel, however, that we might have a pattern of intergenerational settlement like that of the Thomas Moulton property where sons built entirely different houses separate from their fathers, and that the Junkins Garrison could represent a 'later' (i.e.,circa 1705-1710) manifestation of the Junkins occupation. If this is the case, it would be important to monitor earth moving at the time of future construction.
I stress that the above notes on the Robert Junkins original house site form a working hypothesis, one that can be easily tested with monitoring any further work done at the site. We are all at a disadvantage because there are other possible factors relating to the absence of clear evidence of 1670-1725 occupation at the site. The first is that we know only that archaeologists have been to the site on prior occasions, but we do not know how large a sample they excavated, or where, or what they found. The second fact we must keep in mind is that the 1991 season opened very small areas, and it is conceivable we missed the seventeenth century activity areas. I wanted you to be aware of these contingencies that impinge on archaeological findings, so that you can make an informed decision about whether you wish to invest in additional archaeological consulting.